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My Divine Mistake

Thursday, 24 November, 2016 - 12:16 pm

This past Monday, while driving to NJ for a day of meetings, I got a call from Fraida asking where I left the van keys so she can take the kids to school.  Sure enough, I knew exactly where they were.  They were in the ignition of the car I was driving.  There was no backup set at home. After Fraida and I went through the possible options of how to get the kids to school and realizing that none were practical, Fraida told me it’s Hashgacha Protis, Divine Providence; we will spend the day at home and the kids will have a relaxing day.

The question arises: is that not just a way of shirking your responsibility? Why are you blaming G-d for your mistake? 

What is Hashgacha Protis? Divine Providence means that ultimately G-d is in charge of all that happens.  G-d allows the human to make mistakes yet the result and consequences of those mistakes are part of the Divine plan. In a practical sense, this means, if someone punches me, for my own spiritual service I should accept that G-d intended for me to receive that punch, however, the other person is still held accountable for their act of violence. (The same goes for taking away my client, undercutting me in a sale...)

Another important piece of the puzzle is to accept that we will not always understand the Divine plan. Why I took the keys? I do not know.  Why did the kids have to miss school? I also do not know. What I do know is that it resulted in my family bonding over hot cocoa and homeschooling. By Divine Providence, my mistake strengthened the family bond. Am I proud that I made the mistake? No. Have I since gotten a backup copy of the key? Yes. I held myself accountable and took steps to rectify, yet I recognize that it all worked out, and will always work out, according to the Divine Plan. As in this situation, I wish upon all of us, to merit seeing the good in everything that happens to us.

Have a wonderful Shabbos and a lovely thanksgiving weekend.

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman


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